Olympics: While You Were Sleeping - Day eight

By Dylan Cleaver

Switzerland's Nicola Spirig, right, just beats Sweden's Lisa Norden to the finish line in the Olympic Games Women's triathlon at Hyde Park. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Switzerland's Nicola Spirig, right, just beats Sweden's Lisa Norden to the finish line in the Olympic Games Women's triathlon at Hyde Park. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A quick bite of the best of the action from day eight at the London 2012 Olympics.

Pair's bronze after controversial start
Even accounting for Peter Taylor and Storm Uru's bronze medal in the controversial final of the lightweight double, it would have been easy to go to bed a little downcast last night after Andrea Hewitt's trials in the triathlon and Emma Twigg's fourth placing in the single scull. Let's see if the overnight action can ease though worried minds.

Women's 470 crew lead NZ sailors
Let's stay on the water, motoring south through the English countryside until we get to Weymouth, Dorset.

Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie pipped Australia for second in the day's first race, followed it 5th to sit in the gold medal position. The men's 470 crew of Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders had a disastrous 16th-placed first race but rebounded for 3rd in race two. They sit, just, in the bronze medal position. Andrew Murdoch had a good day in the Laser to move up to 5th going into the medal race, but it looks like too little, too late. JP Tobin has slipped out of contention in the boardsailing, with a 12th and 6th. He is 5th overall, but a massive 24 points out of the medals.

Another record for GB
The velodrome hasn't been much fun for anybody other than Great Britain and so it proved again. New Zealand put in an improved performance in the women's team pursuit, but missed out on the medals rounds by just over a second. You had to feel for Alison Shanks, the undisputed best individual pursuiter in the world. Great Britain smashed their world record in winning gold. Eddie Dawkins didn't progress beyond the repechages in the sprint. Shane Archbold finished second in the flying lap component of the six-event omnium. However a shocking 14th in the points race, his nemesis event, could cost him a medal.

Serena's career 'Golden Slam'
Serena Williams proved that nobody can match her when she's in form, particularly on grass. She destroyed Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-1 to win gold in the women's singles.

Bolt's first apperance
Before this morning's final event in the heptathlon, Sarah Cowley was sitting 29th, despite a PB in the javelin.

Kim Collins, the St Kitts and Nevis flagbearer and "national hero" was withdrawn from the 100m by his Olympic Association for leaving the Village to spend a night in a hotel with his wife. He later said: "I am not walking away. I was pushed out. I have to go home... They're asking me to abandon my wife for the team. It's not going to happen." The St Kitts Olympic Committee said as well as Collins leaving the Village without permission, he also missed training sessions, athletes" registration and refused to answer his phone or reply to emails.

Usain Bolt was the slowest of the round one winners in the 100m, clocking 10.09s in heat four. American Ryan Bailey was the most impressive, clocking a personal best 9.88s. All the big names won their heats - Tyson Gay, Justin Gatlin, Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Dwain Chambers.

And also...
The USA were made to work harder than expected in the basketball, beating an accomplished Lithuania side 99-94.

A hot tip:
If you're reading this before 8.15am, quickly switch your telly on and catch the 10,000m final featuring British hope Mo Farah and one of the all-time greats of the track, Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele. He'll be joined by his brother Tiriku. Wilson Kiprop and Moses Masai will spearhead the Kenyan effort.

Medal watch:
The USA now lead the table with 24 golds, one more than China. They will look to add to that in the pool this morning when Michael Phelps will appear in his final ever Olympics event in the men's 4x100 medley.
New Zealand's fourth bronze doesn't move them from 12th position.
HOT: Team GB have moved to third thanks to success in the rowing and the velodrome.
COLD: Australia won their 10th silver overnight. But still have just one gold.

Quote of the day:
"Today was just an unbelievable experience. I found myself smiling on the starting blocks, which is very rare," double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf05 at 22 Oct 2014 13:14:55 Processing Time: 507ms